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Paper $1 value down 98 percent since 1913

Federal Reserve Notes that were initially converted into gold, now are convertible into nothing but other Federal Reserve Notes.

Our Founding Fathers recognized the dangers of government paper money and the intervention in money. Under our Constitution, neither the federal government nor the states have any power to issue paper money of any kind. The only monetary power of our Constitution is the power to coin precious metals and to regulate their exchange ratios with foreign coins.

The Coinage Act of 1792 defined the U.S. dollar in terms of a certain weight in precious metals. However, today our commercial coinage has been debased by removing the gold and silver and cheap metals have been used instead. Many people feel that debasing our money is as bad as restricting free speech.

Our Founding Fathers felt so strongly about us having and using honest gold and silver money that they stated in Section 19 of the 1792 Coinage Act that anyone who debased coinage, “for the purposes of profit or gain or with fraudulent intent, shall suffer death.” However, over the years, revisions in our coinage laws have changed the metal content of our U.S. money, and today debasement occurs with impunity.

What was specified as money per Article 1, Section 10 of the United States Constitution has not been amended and the Constitution still states that gold and silver are lawful money to be used to pay debts. Our Founders felt that setting the gold and silver coinage standards was as important as keeping weights and measures the same. For example, a pound of sugar must weigh 16 ounces, and a yard of lumber must contain three feet. Weights and measures have not changed, so why should our money?

Back in 1913 when the Federal Reserve Central Bank  was established,  gold was still valued at $20.67 per ounce. Today, in paper fiat units,  it is valued at around $1,120 per ounce.  So if we divide $20.67 by $1,120, we get 0.01846 minus 1 = – 0.9815 X 100 = – 98 percent.  This calculation shows that our paper fiat money has lost 98 percent of its value since 1913 when compared to honest Constitutional gold money. Ouch!

Below are some interesting quotes about money.

Daniel Webster said: “Of all the contrivances devised for cheating the laboring classes of mankind, none have been more effective than that which deludes him with paper money.”

Ludwig Von Mises said:  “Government is the only agency that can take a valuable commodity like paper, slap some ink on it, and make it totally worthless.”

I agree with his statement. Wealth cannot be made by the printing press. Paper money is something for nothing. And this is why so many rulers “love” it.

P. J. O’Rouke said: “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.”

Oliver Ellsworth said: “This is a favorable moment to shut and bar the door against paper money. The mischiefs of the various experiments which have been made are now fresh in the public mind and have excited the disgust of all respectable parts of America.”

Joey Bishop said: “Today you can go to a gas station and find the cash register open and the toilets locked. They must think that toilet paper is worth more than money.”

Henry Ford said: “It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”    

Weimar White
is a hobbyist from Canaseraga, N.Y.
Viewpoint is a forum for the expression of opinion on a variety of numismatic subjects. The opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of Numismatic News.
To have your opinion considered for Viewpoint, write to David C. Harper, Editor, Numismatic News, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990. Send e-mail to david.harper@fwmedia.com.

More Resources:

• Subscribe to our Coin Price Guide, buy Coin BooksCoin Folders and join the NumisMaster VIP Program

2010 U.S. Coin Digest, The Complete Guide to Current Market Values, 8th ed.

State Quarters Deluxe Folder By Warmans

Standard Guide to Small-Size U.S. Paper Money, 1928 to Date

Strike It Rich with Pocket Change, 2nd Edition



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